Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!! I had been number crunching in my head for a while now to figure out how I was going to afford to go to SOMA. I had received a partial scholarship, but was still tight on cash. Flood has been great in working with me to set up a payment plan so that I can still attend the conference. Then yesterday I received an email informing me that someone had made an anonymous donation and paid for my SOMA registration in full! Not only that, but my director called me and said someone was going to become a monthly donor to my personal account!
I am so grateful and want to give back. I’ve signed up in every area that I have time to help prepare for SOMA.
My car has been giving me all kinds of trouble lately. I just got new tires put on this morning and I wasn’t halfway down the street when my car went back to it’s violet shaking at idol and wouldn’t accelerate to more than 20mph. So here I sit typing away at a auto repair shop hoping I can get out of here in time to still make the Switchfoot concert I got a group of people to go to. AND I left my cell at my apartment, so I can’t let them know where I am. Ugh! It’s amusing how when one thing goes right other things fall apart. Evil sure is persistent. There was also some complications in finding a new apartment, but after a lot of searching, my new roomie and I found a place. I’m actually mostly moved in as of today.
Do not fear the winds of adversity. Remember: A kite rises against the wind rather than with it. – Unknown
It’s been a while since I’ve written. I hope everyone had a good holiday season. I enjoyed a nice trip back to Ohio to visit with family and had a pleasantly uneventful flight. (Despite being routed through DC before heading west back to San Diego.) I was able to have dinner with my best friend Alan, visit with my other best friend Tiffany, meet up with one of my San Diego friends (who is also from Ohio), and sing for our Christmas Eve service at church.
When I got back to San Diego, there was much to do. I got in touch with my former roommate who owns his own promotions business and we started making plans for a Valentine’s event downtown in the Gaslamp district. We secured a great venue called the Sé Hotel with an awesome rooftop pool deck where we were going to hold an art and singles auction called The Heartbreak Hotel. We even got Ajirotutu of the San Diego chargers to be auctioned off.
Surprisingly the preparation for this event went smoother than I thought it was going to. I was nervous since it was my first time working with outside promoters and venues. Technically the event wasn’t COTN’s. It was Sé’s and we were just the charity benefactor. So there were many things that we didn’t have to worry about. However, it did limit us as to the things we could control. In the end some of the things the venue had planned didn’t end up coming together and the event really revolved around the auctions for COTN. You’d think this would be a good thing, but we missed a great opportunity to share more about the charity. When we had our follow up, we all feel like those who came to the event who didn’t know what COTN was, left not knowing what COTN was.
It was a great event and Sé was a blessing to us. I’ve gotten tons of great feed back and it is good for me to have one of these under my belt. It’s hard to know everything that you want to accomplish without any experience. Now we know what things we want to do better, what we want to focus on more, and how to communicate better with our contacts. The hardest part so far in this whole event has been passing back and forth information and keeping everyone informed about everything they needed to know. Whew! Communication is a lot of work! I was able to make some connections with other promoters though, and am looking forward to meeting with them to see how we can partner on future events.
On the personal side, I have decided to trust God and quit my job at the gym to focus more on COTN. In the end, it was costing me more in transportation to and from work than I was getting paid for actually working. I’m going to have to move out of my current apartment and try to find someplace with lower rent because I cannot afford to stay here anymore. As much as I don’t want to admit it, I had to apply for food stamps too. *Sigh * I never wanted to be someone who couldn’t provide for myself. I know I’ve said it before, but it’s mind-boggling to find that being financially responsible doesn’t cut it.
We have recently finished a generosity series at Flood and it just reiterates how much I want to give of myself. It’s also somewhat disappointing to know the things that are keeping me from being generous. Most of my life I have felt that giving money wasn’t enough. I wanted to give of my time and talents and show hands-on generosity. Now, hands-on generosity is all that I can give. It’s frustrating to me to be unable to be generous in all aspects of my life. I still give to our sponsored child in our community group and I give whatever I have in my wallet on Sundays. It’s still so little and I know it’s less than 10%. It’s hard when my expenses are around 97-99% of what I’m making and each month I wonder if I’m actually going to have enough to pay my rent, utilities, and student loans. Food isn’t even secondary. I have to make sure I have gas in my car, all those annoying fix-ups on the car, I keep chipping away at my credit card bill, etc…
There have been several blessings that have kept me going and I am thankful every day for them. The people who have stood beside me this whole time are truly a gift. Surprisingly, I am happy for the struggle. I am glad that I am working so hard for something so important rather than something with no redeeming value.
I’ve also stepped up to fill some leadership roles in my community group. I’m working the group’s facebook page, doing the worship slides, designing group T-shirts, and filling in for the leaders when they are unable to attend. I really enjoy it. I’ve also made the commitment to attend The Heart of Generosity core class and signed up for SOMA. (I’m not sure if I’m actually able to go to it yet, but I did apply for a scholarship.)
My next assignment is to work on my personal support raising. I have had a few donations, but I need to work on finding monthly supporters. I am blown away at the support some of our other staff members have. It seems as simple as sending out a quick letter and bam they have most of their support. I can’t be too upset though. If I look back, how financially supportive was I of these kinds of things? It’s like I just recently told a friend “It takes time for good things to grow. If it happens quickly, it’s made no lasting roots.” And so I will be patient and persistent and nurture these seeds in the hopes of harvesting hearts.
NEXT EVENT: Silent auction and dinner.
Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time. – Og Mandio
For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which you have shown toward His name… - Heb. 6:10